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Contributor Success Guide

Contributor Success Guide 18
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AustinMcmahon,United Kingdom,Researcher
Published Date:16-07-2017
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Contributor Success GuideContents Stock Image And Video 101 
 Turning Pro
 Turn Your Creativity Into Cash 3
 It’s the Law Copyright, Trademarks, 
 A Letter from Shutterstock 4
 and Marketplace Integrity 39
 About Shutterstock 5
 How to Work with Models 41
 Why Should You Contribute to Shutterstock? 6
 How to Get Access to Celebrities 45
 What Are Stock Images? 10 Production Strategies of the Pros 46
 Assembling a Team 47 What To Create
 10 Ways to Find Trends and Inspiration 12
 Resources
 What Buyers Are Begging For 15
 Glossary 49 How to Maximize Your Profits When Shooting 17
 Video: Get Much Higher Royalties with 
 a Little More Shooting Time 21
 The Ingredients of Top-Selling Stock Images or Videos 24 Submitting to Shutterstock
 Copyright 2014 Shutterstock, Inc. This Guide may not be reproduced, displayed, published, or redistributed without written permission from Shutterstock. Copyright in Your First Submission and Application Success 26
 each image belongs to the artist that created same or the artist’s designee. All images used in this Guide are licensed through Shutterstock. Links or references to third-party
 Keywording 29
 sites are not intended to be endorsements. Shutterstock is not responsible for the content
 Rejection Reasons–Get ALL of Your Photos Approved 31
 of such third-party sites. Nothing in this Guide is intended to be legal advice. Shutterstock makes no warranties or representations related to this Guide’s accuracy or its fitness for Making Money at Shutterstock: Royalties Explained 36
 any particular purpose. About “Sensitive Use” 37Turn Your Creativity Into Cash Want to earn cash for being creative? Do you already submit to stock sites, but want to learn more techniques for mastering sales? Then this is the guide for you. We’ve assembled hundreds of tricks, tips, and explanations that can help you become a top provider of stock images and video. A Letter from Shutterstock There has never been a more exciting time to be a member of Shutterstock’s creative community. Today, photographers and illustrators have thousands of creative tools at their disposal, ranging from digital paintbrushes to affordable HD DSLR video. A global network of enthusiasts and professionals regularly trades tips and inspiration. Image buyers are no longer just major publishers and big companies—small businesses and individuals are licensing images for every use you can imagine. 
 It’s all happening globally and instantaneously. At Shutterstock, we want to support artists as they connect with image and 
 motion buyers in a global, instant, “always on” marketplace. We value our relationships with our contributors and we want to continue to invest in 
 their success. With that goal in mind, we created this free guide to being a successful 
 stock image seller. We hope that you enjoy it and find it useful for 
 building your business. About Shutterstock Shutterstock is a leading provider of high-quality stock photography, vectors, illustrations, and video to creative professionals around the world. Our current library contains more than 35 million royalty-free images and 1.7 million footage clips. We’ve served more than 400 million downloads to nearly 1 million customers in over 150 countries since the company was founded in 2003. Shutterstock supports a contributor community of thousands of photographers, videographers, artists, and illustrators from around the world. Why Should 
 You Contribute 
 to Shutterstock? In the past 20 years, the business of visual communication has undergone massive change. Photographs used to be published in newspapers and magazines once per day 
 or once per week. Today, there are nearly 3 billion Internet users consuming visual content 24 hours a day, 
 7 days per week. Businesses and publishers big and small find themselves in need of more and more visual content. You can take advantage of this new opportunity by contributing images and video to Shutterstock. We’re a leading source of revenue for photographers, illustrators, and videographers.
 We’ve served more than 400 million image downloads to nearly 1 million customers in over 150 countries and 20 languages. According to an independent survey by a leading contributor website, Shutterstock is consistently ranked 1 for overall individual earnings among similar competitors. We bring your images and video to customers worldwide. 
 Each year, Shutterstock invests millions of dollars in global marketing programs to keep our site a favorite of the world’s image buyers. Our 
 ads can be seen prominently in search engines, on 
 leading web sites, and in print around the world. 
 Our team meets regularly with customers and 
 contributors at more than 20 leading trade 
 shows, including shows by HOW, AIGA, 
 Adobe, TED, and the World Photography
 Organization. We travel the globe to
 meet and welcome new customers. Microstockgroup.com, 2013 Microstock Industry Survey, 2/12/2014 Why Should You Contribute to Shutterstock? We respect our customers and contributors. 
 From our transparent pricing model to our simple website experience, we believe in putting our customers and contributors first. We talk with both every day. Contributing work is fast and easy. 
 We maintain high quality standards with a fast and efficient upload, submission, and approval process. Contributors 
 can start earning money within 24 hours of submitting 
 new content. We’re non-exclusive. 
 Enjoy the freedom. We don’t pressure you into exclusively distributing images or video through Shutterstock. Your content is yours to control to maximize your selling opportunities and profit. Why Should You Contribute to Shutterstock? We believe in continuous innovation 
 and the value of new technology. 
 As a technology company, we ensure that our product teams are always looking for new ways to improve and enhance the experiences of both customers and contributors. As just one example, be sure to check out our iPad and iPhone app We provide valuable tools and information. 
 Helpful features like our Keyword Trends tool give you valuable data to make better decisions about your business. And our favorite reason artists contribute to Shutterstock? Because it’s fun. Unleash your creativity by joining a community of thousands of contributors at one of the most creative marketplaces in the world. Why Should You Contribute to Shutterstock? What Are 
 Stock Images? Simply put, stock imagery means any art that already exists and is ready to use. A stock agency maintains a library of images covering 
 a large array of subjects and licenses those images to customers. People often refer to “stock photography,” but “stock” can refer to any type of visual content, including photos, videos, or illustrations. Thanks to the ease of distributing digital content over the Internet, stock imagery has grown into a multi-billion-dollar industry. Stock can provide you an outlet to license all of those images you have been creating. More than ever, buyers are looking for locally relevant images that are high-quality and professional. With Shutterstock’s power to reach art buyers worldwide, we can help bring your images to the people who want them. And since images can sell over and over, your creative work can generate income for years to come. What 
 To Create 10 Ways 
 to Find Trends 
 and Inspiration Images are a means of communication. And just as spoken 
 and written language adapts over time, visual language does 
 too. Successful stock contributors keep their portfolios 
 current and optimized to serve the needs of image buyers. So where do you go to find trends and inspiration? Start 
 with a paper notebook, a tablet computer, a smartphone, 
 or any desktop, and keep an “idea journal” or “mood 
 board” of what you find. Here are some places to get 
 ideas for the imagery you create. Social Media and Online Tools. 
 What topics are trending? Who are the most influential people in news and culture? What causes do they believe in? What issues 1 are controversial? How could they be illustrated conceptually and literally? The Newsstand. 
 Scan the latest headlines. Are there any common themes? What are the political issues that will carry into the next election? Are 2 there any emerging or inspirational aesthetic or visual trends? Home Furnishings and Fashion. 
 What colors are most popular? What looks were popular in this year’s fashion shows? What styles are popular in home and 3 garden magazines? Technology. 
 What are the coolest new gadget trends on the technology blogs? What types of products and technology make headlines at the electronics trade shows? How do popular products today, 4 like cell phones or computers and tablets, differ from ones seen in previous years? Demographics. 
 What is changing about ethnic and cultural diversity? How is your 5 neighborhood changing? 10 Ways to Find Trends and Inspiration The Calendar. 
 What are the anticipated news, social, and cultural events that 6 will be coming up in the next year or two? Your Street, Your World. 
 What’s different about your neighborhood? The local food? 7 Local fashion? Architecture? Religion? Cultural events? 
 There’s increasing demand for “local” and “authentic” images. Holidays and Celebrations. 
 What are the popular holidays and celebrations around the 8 world or in your town? Contemporary Art. 
 You should never copy the work of other artists. But you should keep an eye on what’s interesting and new in the world of art, including photography. What problems, issues, or concepts are 9 contemporary artists trying to explore? What new techniques are available? Take a look at gallery shows, as well as art blogs, books, and magazines. Classical Art. 
 Sometimes the old ways are the best. Museums and art 
 10 shows that include traditional paintings are great sources 
 of timeless inspiration. 10 Ways to Find Trends and Inspiration What Buyers 
 Are Begging For To maximize your success, you need to understand what buyers are looking for. We frequently talk to customers who ask for images with these qualities. Images that show “authenticity.” 
 Perfectly posed images of beautiful models are popular, but buyers tell us every day that they also want authenticity. Images need to 
 be inspirational, professional, and of high quality, but people and activities should look natural, relaxed, and “real.” Images that show cultural diversity. 
 We live in an increasingly global economy and shared culture. 
 For years, buyers have been asking stock agencies for images 
 that reflect how culturally diverse our world is in a way that 
 feels honest and accurate. Images that show local culture. 
 Shutterstock serves a global audience. Does a business meeting in Hong Kong or Rio De Janeiro look exactly the same as one in London or Rome? Don’t copy “popular” images. Buyers want high-quality and authentic images of the world as seen through your eyes.Distinct variations from the same shoot. 
 Buyers often tell us things like this: “The shot was perfect – but we couldn’t use it because the person was serious, not smiling.” Or the image was horizontal, not vertical. By shooting distinct and unique variations of the same scene, you can give a buyer options while maximizing sales opportunities from a single shoot. Thoughtful room for text. 
 Your images need to have a clear center of interest, but have you
 thought about how text might be overlaid on the image? Think about 
 a magazine cover, advertisement, or two-page spread. Where do photographers leave room for text? What techniques do they use – 
 like shallow depth-of-field – to create a suitable space for text? Images that they can’t find anywhere else. 
 We were recently approached by a potential customer 
 who works for a government agency specializing in 
 wastewater treatment. She was a regular buyer 
 of images of sewer sludge. Who would imagine 
 that? Popular themes such as nature, objects, 
 business, and healthcare may seem obvious 
 to beginners, but since those categories are 
 saturated, finding images of unique subjects 
 should also be a major part of your portfolio 
 strategy. These images might not be the top sellers, 
 but your unique, niche images are up against less 
 competition, and will help you diversify your portfolio. What Buyers Are Begging For How to Maximize Your Profits When Shooting Even top professionals consider how to save money on production costs to maximize revenue. Here are the top tips to keep your production expenses low. Rent—don’t buy—certain equipment. 
 It’s likely that your camera, basic lenses, and flash are things you want to own. But 
 studio lighting and other equipment can often be rented in a cost-effective way. Top professionals often rent equipment when the benefits of renting outweigh the cost of 1 buying, storing, maintaining, and insuring equipment that could be technically obsolete 
 in just a few years. Share equipment and studio costs. 
 If you know other photographers who submit for stock as well, talk to them about sharing production costs. For example, studio lights can be rented by the week and then shared among a few individuals. Always remember that whoever signs the rental agreement is 2 responsible for the equipment in case something is lost, broken, or stolen, so choose partners who are trustworthy and responsible. Shoot multiple scenes with your models.
 There are photographers who develop entire portfolios around a few models. While it’s best 
 to use a diverse selection of models, you should maximize your time when you have models in the 3 studio. Different sets, angles, facial expressions, orientations, clothing, and scenarios are all ways to maximize the return on a single shoot. Shoot video and stills at the same time. 
 More and more cameras have HD video capability. HD video is an increasingly popular stock medium and videos are often licensed at higher prices than stills. There are differences between shooting stills 4 and video, but you can greatly increase your earning potential by creating both during the same shoot. Try before you buy. 
 Photography software can be very expensive. Thankfully, many companies like Adobe offer 30- day free trials of their software. If you’re not sure if you’re going to need certain functionality, try out a 5 few software packages before settling on your final workflow and committing to making purchases. How to Maximize Your Profits When Shooting When you do buy, try to DIY (“Do It Yourself”). 
 Brand-name video and photography accessories can be expensive. Thankfully, a large number of “DIY” sites have 
 been created. Sites like CheesyCam.com have tutorials to 6 create or buy inexpensive versions of popular items like 
 video stabilizers, dollies, LED lights, and camera sliders. Get releases and avoid logos and trademarks. 
 If your images show people or property, they can’t be licensed for commercial use without a model or property release. They also can’t be used commercially if they contain obvious logos or 7 trademarks. Getting a signed release will ensure that you 
 get the highest return on your work. Get creative with your space. 
 You don’t need a 2,000-square-foot studio to shoot sellable photos. A clean white bathtub can be used creatively to get object shots on a white background. Many amazing shots 
 8 are taken in garages against a small seamless white or black backdrop. Be sure to pay careful attention to lighting, but remember that no one can see what’s outside of the frame. How to Maximize Your Profits When Shooting Take good care of your equipment and sell it 
 when it makes sense. There are many reasons to take good care of your equipment. One reason is that camera equipment such as lenses and flashes often holds its value very well. If you protect your glass, you might find that you can sell it on eBay for almost 
 9 as much as you paid for it. Camera bodies might not retain 
 their value as well, because new technology comes out 
 with great improvements. The most important budget-saving technique: 
 run your business like a business. Be conscious of exactly what you’re spending on equipment, models, and each shoot. Keeping track of your expenses with a spreadsheet is a smart way to increase profits. It’s like dieting: 10 unless you count calories and weigh yourself, you begin to quickly lose track of how you’re doing against your objectives. Set realistic goals and plot a long-term strategy for success. Bonus tip: 
 Top photographers also know that their value is often in creating images, not keywording and uploading. Images and video can be sent to third-party production houses to be keyworded, retouched, and optimized for sales. Or a paid assistant can do the same. This approach typically applies to photographers who create thousands of images. How to Maximize Your Profits When Shooting